President Muhammed Buhari has approved the reappointment of Engr. Akin Olateru as the Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer of the Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria following the recommendation of the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.
The Federal Ministry of Aviation, which disclosed the reappointment through its official social media handle, stated that the appointment commenced with immediate effect.
Engr. Akin Olateru who was Commissioner of the Bureau between January 2017 and January 2021, ensured the release of 40 final reports on accidents and serious incidents. This, represents a 67.8 percent of the total final reports released by the Bureau since it was established in 2007.
The Bureau also issued 130 Safety Recommendations within this period, representing 61.6 percent of the total Safety recommendations issued by the Bureau. The Bureau also released three Safety Bulletins.
Under his administration, the Bureau’s infrastructural facilities, such as the Bureau’s Flight Safety Laboratory in Abuja and Lagos, Wreckage Hangar, Metallurgical Science Laboratory, Regional offices in Enugu and Kano states, and the Command and Control Center, were developed and rehabilitated to enhance efficiency.
Besides infrastructural developments, AIB-N initiated collaborations and cooperation agreements with several countries and institutions such as the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB), Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile (BEA- France), the Instituto Nacional De Aviaco Civil (National Civil Aviation Authority) of Sao Tome & Principe, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) and University of Lagos (UNILAG), while the cooperation agreements between Saudi Arabia, Republic of Benin and Niger Republic are in the process.
The Bureau also partnered with international training organisations and institutions such as ICAO, US NTSB, Singapore TSIB, Southern California Safety Institute (SCSI) and Cranfield University, UK on human capacity development through Accident Investigation and other related trainings.
The cooperation agreements and collaborations are aimed at improving the Bureau’s processes and procedures while ensuring that AIB-N achieves its objectives.
As part of its international collaboration and recognition, the AIB-N conducted its first international aircraft accident investigation on behalf of Sao-Tome and Principe on behalf of the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA). The investigation afforded the Bureau the opportunity to demonstrate its prowess in timely conduct of investigations and accurate release of occurrence reports.
Under the administration of Olateru, in November 2017, the Bureau launched the AIB-N Nigeria mobile app. This app is aimed at easing the process of reporting air accidents and serious incidents, and enhancing eyewitness reporting by the public. The app, which is a vital interface between the agency and the general public, is available on the Google and Apple stores.
The Bureau also has very active social media handles on which it posts daily its activities, safety tips, and aviation facts. The Bureau social media handles include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
AIB-N has undergone several public advocacy activities in order to keep the public informed on the critical role they play in the success of an accident investigation body, right from the accident site to the release of the reports. Accident investigation is all about the safety of the travelling public. A pragmatic public engagement, therefore, becomes very imperative.
Olateru has given AIB-N global recognition as its final accident reports are globally accepted and used as case studies internationally.
GENERAL MANAGER, PUBLIC AFFAIRS